Australia confirms 2 nationals wounded in Kabul bombing

However, two Australian security contractors were injured in the attack.

Australian embassy staff in Kabul have narrowly avoided being hit by a auto bomb that exploded near their convoy as they travelled through the Afghan capital.

The blast took place in the city's Qabel Bai area, which is less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) away from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters in Kabul.

Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesman for the ministry, said 22 were wounded in the blast.

Increase in the military crackdowns and killing more than 300 militants have been reported after offering peace talks to Taliban by Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani at Kabul conference on Wednesday to end Afghanistan's more than 16 years of war.

Four civilians were wounded from a suicide auto bomber in Kabul.

"The number of wounded is 22 people".

Najib Danish, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the source of the explosion was a vehicle belonging to a foreign company but did not name it or specify if the blast was a bombing.

It was first thought no Australians were injured in the attack on Friday, but Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has confirmed two suffered minor injuries.

USA sees hope for negotiated end to Afghan war: The United States dared to permit itself renewed hope Thursday that the longest war in its history may be closer to a negotiated settlement, after Afghan-led talks went better than expected.

"We are making this offer without preconditions, in order to lead to a peace agreement", Ghani said. Amrullah Saleh, a former national intelligence chief, called the President's speech "a total appeasement to the enemy".

Lisa Curtis praised the Afghan people and security forces€™ counterterrorism efforts and sacrifices and said the Afghan forces were fighting for security of not only Afghanistan, but the region and the world.

Despite the optimism, Kabul remains on high alert, fearing further violence.

In late January, a Taliban attacker drove an ambulance filled with explosives into the heart of the city, killing at least 103 people and wounding as many as 235.


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